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Dollywood Discussion Thread

p. 734 - Lightning Rod closed for remainder of 2020 season

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Blake Shelton and Gwen Stefani enjoyed time with the kids today at Dollywood! Gwen rode all of the rides including The coasters. The only ride I saw Blake ride was Blazing Fury! I feel a new song from Blake coming soon called fire in the hole! Lol

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Yeah, the difference to the rider between I-Box track and the current track is really minimal. The only major difference would be that the ride would actually be open when you wanted to ride it and wh

You mean like this. . . (pssst, all wooden coasters run on steel rails, well, with the exception of the flying turns)   Also, who would have thought the first RMC coaster to get the RM

Shenanigans! Dollywood is a theme park. Do you realize how many people go to Dollywood for the shows? Or the Eagle habitat? Or the soot train? Or just to take it all in? Or the freaking cinnamon

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^^ Nice to see Gwen and Blake enjoying the park. She looks so much better without all that makeup caked on!

 

That sucks about Slidewinder if it's true, I always enjoyed that ride. The loading was atrocious and watching people not understand "load from the back to the front" always made me want to tear my hair out, but it was a fun ride. Do we know why they are possibly closing it for good?

 

I was at DW over Christmas week - we planned ahead and had zero issues with crowds, enjoying ourselves thoroughly - and didn't notice the missing signs. Then again I wasn't looking for them. The new Glacier Ridge area is very well done and the drippy lights with sound effects over by Tennessee Tornado were mesmerizing. Our favorite short show was The MistleTones a cappella group near the entrance and our fav. long show was Twas The Night Before Christmas. The guy who plays the heavyset mouse nails it!

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Does anyone know whats been up with Thunderhead? I noticed it being listed as “closed for the day” the past few days. It went down during the afternoon on New Year’s Day and hasn’t reopened since, based on what I saw while checking the wait times. I’m sure its nothing major, but still seems a little unusual.

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they said slidewinder Is indeed done and that the slidewinder crew was informed that the 2018 season was indeed the last season for slidewinder.

...

For starters it being non ADA friendly is a big thing

 

Major suckage if true.

 

And the ADA being used as a weapon like that (or even being implied) makes me mad. No one gets to enjoy something if it can't be made compliant.

 

Let's just year down/destroy anything that requires 2 working arms and 2 working legs.

 

Fortunately I was able to ride the ride a couple times this summer. Something just told me while I was there “you need to ride it this season while you’re here” and sure enough good thing I did. :/ when I rode this summer I had forgotten had wild and aggressive that thing could be. Took me by surprise! Lol

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I know we’ve discussed this before however after being at the park Sunday, not only has the slidewinder signage been removed at the rides entrance in Owens farm, the directional signage in craftsman’s valley that says “Owens farm barnstormer and Mountain Slidewinder up the hill.” The Mountain Slidewinder portion has been removed from that as well. So upon further digging and asking some employees they said slidewinder Is indeed done and that the slidewinder crew was informed that the 2018 season was indeed the last season for slidewinder. While it makes me sad due to it being a classic and one of the originals opening in 1987, and a fun ride and also one of the few rides on park that Dolly has actually ridden, I can also understand why it was canned. For starters it being non ADA friendly is a big thing plus I’m sure upkeep with the boat making etc is expensive.

 

Ok so what do you professional theme park fans think will happen with this area? I am glad i got to ride it over the years but sort of can also see how its' time has come. It is a pretty big footprint don't you think?

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Ok so what do you professional theme park fans think will happen with this area?

 

Something having to do with Jesus...

 

What do I win?

 

LOL!

 

And we all know what it WON'T be (beer stand/bar).

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Not only may the Mountain Slidewinder not be returning in 2019, but SkyZip as well. The signing for the upcharge attraction has also been removed from the kiosk in Wilderness Pass and the description page is gone form dollywood.com!

 

BUT, you can still find Slidewinder's page here:

https://www.dollywood.com/themepark/Rides/Mountain-Slidewinder

 

Go figure...

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Anytime I hear something like her story, I’m always skeptical. I always think , “but what were you doing to cause that?” , idk maybe it’s just me but I find it hard to believe that she just “lost her grip” and then flew out of the boat far enough to “hit the side of the ride” without falling out of the boat altogether, because the only thing she could’ve hit would’ve been slide. Idk. I find it sketchy.

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I agree, i don't think this was at fault of the ride, more so the people on it. Ive been grouped with people I don't know, they throw their hands up, "rock" it, etc... The GP are to Blame for a lot.

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For the past decade, I've been taking my family to a new park every year; and 2019 will mark our first visit to Dollywood. After researching the area, specifically cabin rentals, I decide to book one of Dollywood's cabins. The price was a little more, but some of the other cabin / house rental companies had horrendous Google/ Yelp/ Trip Advisor reviews.

 

I booked 8 days and 7 nights, with a few days for Dollywood and the rest for all the excitement Gatlinburg & Pigeon Forge have to offer. The trip is planned for mid June in hopes the weather isn't terribly hot yet.

 

Any hidden jems or trip tips will be appreciated. Thanks!

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The price was a little more, but some of the other cabin / house rental companies had horrendous Google/ Yelp/ Trip Advisor reviews.

 

I've rented a lot from one company and several months VRBO. Never an issue.

 

I'd be curious about the bad companies you found (PM as not germaine to thread).

 

As for tips/gems, what are your interests?

 

I really enjoy the trails in GSMNP.

And zip lines. Haven't found a bad one yet, though liked some more than others.

Legacy Mountain has been my favorite.

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For the past decade, I've been taking my family to a new park every year; and 2019 will mark our first visit to Dollywood. After researching the area, specifically cabin rentals, I decide to book one of Dollywood's cabins. The price was a little more, but some of the other cabin / house rental companies had horrendous Google/ Yelp/ Trip Advisor reviews.

 

I booked 8 days and 7 nights, with a few days for Dollywood and the rest for all the excitement Gatlinburg & Pigeon Forge have to offer. The trip is planned for mid June in hopes the weather isn't terribly hot yet.

 

Any hidden jems or trip tips will be appreciated. Thanks!

 

1- I would invest in season passes for you and your guests. Make sure at least one person has a Gold Pass to cover parking. I say this so that you don't have to try and cram everything in but can come and go at your leisure.

 

2- Get a couple of drink cups. refills are only .99 and they will put water in them for you. All food stands will give you water for free in 8oz. cups but its nice to have to not stop all the time.

 

3 - There are more mountain coasters in that area than anywhere else in the world. Take advantage of it.

 

4 - if you want a change of pace, the motor nature trail in Gatlinburg is a nice getaway.

 

I'm a season passholder and you can always PM me with more questions

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Some of our favorites:

 

Smoky Mountain Alpine Coaster (at night): Granted, we have only done this mountain coaster and I am sure they are all fun! We have found Groupon discounts which make it a bit more affordable.

 

Old Mill (lunch): This is by no means a hidden gem. It is probably the most popular restaurant in Pigeon Forge. But if you go before 4 PM, you get an entree, two sides, bread, corn fritters, and a cup of soup for $10-12. It is shareable, which is insanity. Dinner is the same food, plus a dessert/salad for $20. Which would be overkill.

 

Old Mill Pottery House: Right next door. They have an all day menu, so we often go here for dinner after Dollywood or something. They have a pecan crusted chicken breast with moonshine sauce on it, which is divine.

 

Crockett's Breakfast Camp: Again, not a hidden gem but still really delicious breakfast. Only open until like 2, but the earlier you get there, the better in terms of wait. They sell these enormous shareable breakfast skillets which come with a 6 inch tall pancake, ham, bacon, sausage, sausage gravy and a biscuit, grits (or apples), potatoes, corn pudding, and 2 eggs. Mmm.

 

Moonshine Tastings: We have done both Ole Smokey and Sugarlands, which are the two popular ones. Sugarlands stands out for us because of the way it operates. You all gather around a giant circular bar and enjoy delicious moonshine. It is one of the most fun 15 minutes out there. It costs $5 and that goes directly toward moonshine purchase (and they are stackable, so every 5 people who do the tasting equals a free container of moonshine to enjoy on the trip).

 

Mountain Stuff:

 

Again, these are just the things we have done and are most popular anyway.

 

1. Clingmans Dome: follow the main road up the mountains in Gatlinburg up to Newfound Gap. There are nice overlooks on the way up (some great spots to catch a sunset). Newfound Gap itself provides nice views, but if you continue until you find Clingmans Dome road you'll follow that even further up to a parking lot and can "hike" up a concrete 0.5 mile path (much steeper and strenuous than you would expect) to a beautiful overlook.

 

2. Roaring Fork Motor Trail. This is a really peaceful little ride through the lower parts of the mountain. Make sure to pick up the little $1 guide as you enter the loop. My group enjoyed stopping at each numbered marker on the loop and reading the corresponding tidbit. There are various pull offs to see old lodges and a nice little waterfall toward the end. Also the gift shop at the end sells Three Bears coffee which is a Knoxville coffee shop (only outpost in the Smokies is this gift shop).

 

3. Cades Cove: An hour drive from Gatlinburg. A different kind of motor trail, but equally beautiful. Again, try to grab a guide before you enter for $1. Recommend doing this early as it gets crowded and can be annoying to stop behind people all the time. We saw 7 bears on our way in/during/on our way out from Cades Cove. Lots of old churches, houses, etc. to pull off and see. Can easily break this loop up with a packed lunch about halfway through.

 

4. Alum Cave Trail: We have hiked probably 6 or so trails now, so by no means are we experts. But our favorite of the bunch by far has been this trail. Not terribly challenging (a little under 5 miles total out and back). Again, best to start this early before it gets hot/crowded. There are two beautiful stops along this trail. First is Arch Rock. You go underneath the arch and there are steps. Further up, you'll reach Alum Cave, which is more of a bluff and offers beautiful views.

 

I echo what others have said. The season pass is a no brainer. You can visit at your leisure (stop in at night or leave midday, etc. and not feel badly about it). Gold Pass helps a lot for food and merchandise discounts, too.

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